Both Nicolás Chavez and the ajkun agree that a giant serpent guards the interior of the cave. In the latter account, the body of the serpent is "endless," extending deep into the cavern's interior. It is possible that the serpent is a zoomorphic metaphor for the winding passageway of the tunnel itself which leads out of the underworld. In Classic Maya iconography, ancient kings and other elite individuals opened a portal into the underworld by conjuring a gigantic snake, called a "vision serpent" (Stuart 1988:183-185; Freidel et al. 1993:207-210; Miller and Taube 1993:150).